Thursday, September 10, 2020

What to watch this F1 Weekend (Sept 11th - Sept 16th)

  • Formula 1 - Grand Prix of Tuscany; from Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, Italy. Practice 1. Friday @ 4:55am - 6:30pm (ESPN) live
  • Formula 1 - Grand Prix of Tuscany; from Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, Italy. Practice 2. Friday @ 8:55am - 10:30am (ESPN2) live
  • Formula 1 - Grand Prix of Tuscany; from Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, Italy. Practice 3. Saturday @ 5:55am - 7am (ESPN) live
  • Formula 1 - Grand Prix of Tuscany; from Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, Italy. Qualifying. Saturday @ 8:55am - 10am (ESPN2) live
  • Formula 1 - Grand Prix of Tuscany (Ferrari's 1000th race); from Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, Italy. Race. Sunday @ 9am - 11am (ESPN2) live
  • Garage Squad. Mon/Tues/Wed @ 4pm - 5pm (MotorTrend) replay
  • Bitchin Rides. Mon/Tues/Wed @ 5pm - 6pm (MotorTrend) replay
  • Auto Mundial. Tuesday @ 7pm - 7:30pm (MotorTrend) new
  • Motorweek. Tuesday @ 7:30pm - 8pm (MotorTrend) new
  • Geared up. 1959 Mercedes-Benz 180D. Tuesday @ 9pm - 10pm (MotorTrend) new
  • Wheeler Dealers. 2006 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S. Wednesday @ 9pm - 10pm (MotorTrend) new
Italy is the backdrop once again this weekend much like the back to back races in the UK. This time around, however, we're at a different track -- Mugello. First off, a late farewell to the Williams family at the helm of the Williams F1 Team, including Claire Williams as Team Principal and Sir Frank Williams as founder and proprietor. This historic era came to an end at Monza last week and the paddock has tipped their collective cap to the last privateer outfit in F1. The silver lining is that Williams F1 have new backing and will be in F1 for years to come. Secondly, congrats to Pierre Gasly after taking his maiden grand prix victory due an extraordinary sequence of events, some impeccable timing and a strong drive to hold of the advances of Carlos Sainz who wanted to make his own incredible storyline come true before coming to Maranello. All said, there was a refreshing podium last weekend, with Gasly, Sainz and Stroll spraying champagne and we had an Italian anthem being played for a team without a red paint scheme, that of Scuderia Alfa Tauri. Speaking of teams with a red paint scheme, Ferrari had as bad a weekend as you could've imagined. They were slow and didn't make it out of Q2 and when the race came they had a double DNF highlighted by a rear brake failure(fire) for Seb and Charles' misfortune of losing the rear end on the way out of parabolica, with a snap/catch and very rapid impact into the tire barriers. This latter incident brought about a red flag that ended up giving Stroll a free pitstop while in second behind Hams, at the time, with his original tires as Racing Point bet on track position rather than fitting new tires during a prior yellow flag (after a mechanical failure for Magnussen's Haas, right before the pit entrance). Magnussen's retirement was key in this race, because when his car broke and the track marshals decided to push his car towards the nearby pit entrance rather than getting a crane and flatbed, the stewards closed the pit. Seconds later, the collective Mercedes team (including Lewis behind the wheel who was apparently making settings changes on his steering wheel) didn't notice the two boards showing 'X' and had Lewis box to take advantage of a quick pitstop. Antonio Giovinazzi and Alfa Romeo made the same mistake shortly afterwards and both drivers got 10second stop and go penalties costing them both about 30 seconds, effectively. But before the pit closed and after the yellow flag came out, Pierre Gasly stopped for a tire change and this very opportunity helped him compete for the win after the red flag grid restart. After serving his penalty, Hams came back onto the track in last place (~17th) with about half the race left, and grinded his way back to 7th on a weekend where Bottas was trying to make up Driver's Championship ground with Verstappen retired for mechanical issues and Hams  just about dead to rights. Whatever happened to Bottas' car during his terrible race start and scrap with other front runners seemed to have limited him from showing his pace from Saturday; the same pace that Lewis showed on his comeback drive. But more importantly plenty of teams took advantage of the chaos, the grid restart after the red flag Leclerc brought on (he walked away from the accident, btw) including Renault and McLaren. This is important for that third manufacturers spot for this season. With the checkered flag dropped, the Driver's Championship standings are as follows: Hamilton, Bottas (-47), Verstappen (-54), Stroll (-107), Norris (-107), Albon (-116). As you can see, Stroll and Norris are here to play and just out of view are Sainz and Gasly. Mugello should be another interesting challenge for everyone, but what most will be looking to see is if Ferrari can genuinely compete in their thousandth grand prix as a constructor.
Enjoy your motorsport weekends.

Video courtesy of SkySportsF1.

Video courtesy of Formula1.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020